Saturday 21 September 2019

Wedding of summer so far in Killarney

Bride Hannah Saunders pictured with Made In Chelsea pal Millie Macintosh
Bride Hannah Saunders pictured with Made In Chelsea pal Millie Macintosh
Wedding guests Moya Doherty and partner John McColgan
Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh has something to celebrate. Photo: Fergal Phillips
Neil Jordan
Norma Smurfit
Dublin party for Sasha
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

All roads - and perhaps even some flight plans for private jets - led to the Kingdom last Friday for the Irish wedding of the summer so far. Well, the guests did include RTE chairwoman Moya Doherty, her other half, Riverdance guru John McColgan, Today FM's Ian Dempsey, TV3 and Today FM's Matt Cooper as well as RTE's Sean O'Rourke, plus Made In Chelsea's Nicola Hughes.

The illustrious nature of the guest list was hardly surprising as the occasion was dashing John Saunders, CEO of the world's leading PR firm, FleishmanHillard, becoming father of the bride to daughter Hannah, who runs her eponymous fashion, beauty and celebrity PR firm in London. This swishest of swishy soirees at The Europe Hotel in Killarney on Friday saw stunning Hannah marry her partner of 12 years, Richard Bent. (They got engaged at Christmas 2016, when Richie 'bent' down on one knee on Christmas Eve at the top of Grafton Street.)

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Wedding guests Moya Doherty and partner John McColgan

It was practically a royal wedding. Indeed one of Hannah's clients, soprano supreme Laura Wright, a regularly performer for the British royal family, gave a rousing performance at the wedding in Kerry.

Was Hannah's equally beautiful mother Jean, a member of the choir from Our Lady's Choral Society who sang Handel's Messiah at the National Concert Hall so splendidly two years ago, not tempted to join in?

Hannah's godfather, Paul Keogh, who helped Boyzone get started through Polygram back in the day, was also in attendance and could have given some musical guidance, as could Hannah's godmother Moya Doherty.

The bride (who was in Marbella last month with her pal Millie Mackintosh) and groom jetted off to Santorini on honeymoon, returning to their London base in two weeks. It is a tough life for Hannah. She will be back to work with her clients like Margot Robbie and Suki Waterhouse.

So I think we are safe to say the apple doesn't fall far from the PR tree.

Stars come out to shine at House for bride Sasha

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Dublin party for Sasha
 

Three nights ago there was a bit of A-List Hollywood glamour in House. Plus ca change. Movie star Sasha Pieterse had her pre-wedding party with her 6-feet-5-inch beau Hudson Sheaffer (who is almost as tall as Blathnaid Ni C's son Peadar) at the Leeson Street establishment last Thursday night.

The star (Pretty Little Liars, Coin Heist, Inherent Vice) wore a beautiful white A-line dress with white stilettos; her fiancé a black jumper and jeans.

The beautiful bride-to-be - who is getting married today - was surrounded by 80 (only 80?) of her closest family and friends; some of whom travelled all the way from South Africa, including her grandmother.

The wedding party enjoyed Aperol Spritz, Prosecco and House's Social Sips cocktails as well as food from the BBQ, which all took place in the Eden-like Glass House and garden of the club.

There was even a traditional Irish band playing too for the couple, who were engaged in December, 2016.

I wish them all the best for the future.

I also send condolences to House owner Alan Clancy whose beloved father sadly passed away last week.

Good news for Blathnaid as sporting son also rises for Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh

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Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh has something to celebrate. Photo: Fergal Phillips
 

How do you solve a conundrum like Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh?  I don't know what she does at RTE either, but it is a shame she is not on our national screens more, or even, it seems, at all, is it not?

The gobby Gaeilgeoir ginge has at least some cause for celebration. Her 18-year-old son Peadar has been accepted into UCD's Ad Astra sports programme. "This is an amazing break for him. He's put so much work in over the years and that's been rewarded with an opportunity for him to blossom in the presence of other future elite sports-people," said Blathnaid, who is working on a panel show ("Early days. Can't say more").

"All my four children are members of Cuala GAA club and love their club. Peadar was always a good GAA player but at 14 his coaches named him 'most improved player' and everything changed. He had a surge of confidence and there was no stopping him."

Meanwhile bestselling author, our own magnificent Melissa Hill, got the news last Friday that Netflix have bought her short story, Summer in Sorrento and are turning it into a 10 part series. Only 10? This follows on the news that the TV option for her latest novel Keep You Safe was snapped up by Route 24, a subsidiary of ITV (maybe Blathnaid should go to ITV where this multi-talented star would doubtless be more appreciated?). They are looking at a four-part series along the lines of Big Little Lies.

Jordan and Frank convene in Rasam for repast

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Neil Jordan
 

Two of my favourite sources of enjoyment - the movie The Company of Wolves and the book Night in Tunisia - were created by the great Neil Jordan (above). It was the case of Night in Glasthule last Thursday when Neil had dinner in the company of three friends, among them Frank Bonadio, in Rasam restaurant.

The last time I saw Neil (in a baby blue pinstripe jacket and paisley shirt) and Frank (looking dude-stylish with his grey Nike runners worn under his tux) together was at The Millhouse in Slane, Co Meath, in August 2013 for the wedding of Frank's - and Mary Coughlan's - beautiful daughter Clare. I'm sure the food was as good that summer's evening as it was last Thursday. I hope, however, it wasn't a case of the crying game for Neil if he went for any of Rasam's spicier options and regretted it later.

Norma, Bill 'n' Jackie show up for Jack, Bob 'n' Ted

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Norma Smurfit
 

Smurf's up? Norma was, anyway. Michael Smurfit's ex-wife was at the National Library last Tuesday night looking, as one of my Deep Throats told me, "her usual fabulous self".

Fabulous friends Bill Cullen and Jackie Lavin joined Norma at the Irish launch of Gerard Doherty's new tome, They Were My Friends - Jack, Bob and Ted.

Paschal, Eoghan and Ryan were also there. That is, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe launched the book, with Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy, Montrose's Minister For Literature Ryan Tubridy (his late relative Dot was close to the Kennedys, of course). Brent Pope, and artist Orla de Bri, among many others, also pitched up on Merrion Square.

A VBF and adviser to the aforementioned Kennedy triumvirate, 90-year-old Gerard was in Ireland also for the little matter of his honeymoon with 70-year-old partner Regina Quinlan, a retired superior court judge in Massachusetts.

They were married in Boston earlier this year, holding their reception in the Kennedy Library in Boston. And why not?

After a reception at the US Embassy last Thursday lunchtime, followed by a book signing at Dubray Books on Grafton Street, Ger 'n' Reg continued their wedding celebrations at the five-star Hayfield Manor in the real capital of Ireland - Cork - last week.

As JFK might have said, Ich bin ein Corkonian.

The young-at-heart (and young-at-body - Gerald is on the exercise bike every day) newlyweds are returning to these shores in September to be one of the star turns at the Kennedy Summer School in New Ross.

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